Study Guide

Gilead Narrator Point of View

By Marilynne Robinson

Narrator Point of View

First Person (Central Narrator)

Gilead is the long letter of a father to his son, so it's no surprise that the narration we get is first person. Everything in the narrative is told from the perspective of John Ames, our protagonist. He relies on his memory and his observations to tell his son his history. In his narration, we read about events happening while he writes, but we also his thoughts and feelings about the future, his theological reflections, and stories from his past that are important to him. Ames wants to convey to his son the truth, beauty, and goodness of life as he sees it, so his narration is reliable, as much as his memory and insight and limits allow.

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